The list author says: "Before our first child was born, we knew what we didn't like (crappy plastic, bad design, noisy annoying toys). Once we began registering, I was frustrated by the lack of excellent affordable baby products and the sheer amount of STUFF well-meaning friends and the internet told us we needed. After all, centuries of humans have survived on love, warmth, and a pair of boobs, right?
As an urban car-less mom living in a 4th floor 2 BR walk-up, every bit of space and portability counts. Spend where it matters and keeping everything else as cheap as possible."
"If I had to choose a single piece of baby gear, this is it. The Ergo is a life-saver; 100x more comfortable than any Bjorn (and better for baby's hips); versatile (front, side, back carry); worth every penny. Buy the infant insert on CL or ebay: you won't use it for long."
"No car means we're out in the elements a lot. I was super reluctant to pay $50 for this, but I figured the cost per wear would be worth it, especially over multiple kids, plus reselling it when we're done with it."
"Pricey but worth it if you are looking for a 2nd carrier. Folds up to the size of a scarf; especially wonderful for newborns + the first few months. Much better and more portable than the Moby. Can be intimidating initially, but it's worth taking the time to learn (youtube, friends). Great for discreet public nursing; our daughter nursed at many a gallery opening and no one was the wiser."
"We skipped the swing and went with a bouncer. This one is minimal (and dare I say, almost beautiful?), washes and stores easily, and is light and easy to move around the house. Also folds for storage. Look on CL before you blow $150."
"Some sort of bunting for the stroller (and car seat) is essential if you want to leave the house between November-April. JJ Cole is ubiquitous, 7 A.M. Enfant is super nice but also super pricey ... pick your poison."
"Why have a high chair taking up a bunch of space in your apartment? Get a clip-on high chair or booster seat instead and put down a plastic placemat for easy clean-up. Phil&Teds and Inglesina both make ones that pack down to a relatively reasonable size, if you want to bring it along."
"Skip the diaper bag madness (most of them are over-priced or ugly anyway) and get one of these. The changing mat unzips from the pocket if you want to go even more minimal. We use the changing mat around the house as well as out and about."
"People are always raving about all the pockets in their diaper bag. Well, get yourself a few Baggu zipper bags - one for diapers, one for toys, one for extra clothes, etc - stick them in your bag, and you're good to go. They're also great for packing, make-up, pens, and a million other things."
"Yeah, yeah, the Boppy. I was a skeptic too. But when you're nursing for what feels like the 100th time in any given day, it's nice to be able to hold a book, drink a glass of water, use your both hands, and save your back. Get the water resistant protective cover (things can get messy) and whatever other cotton cover suits your fancy."
"Also a pricey item, but get 2 and you should be set. That way you won't be in a bind when 1 gets poop on it (oh yes). Skip the ones with velcro and all the bells & whistles; these suckers are simple and they work. Also, gender neutral so they'll last you through multiple kids."
"Rejoice, apartment dwellers! Here's the washing machine of your dreams! We don't have in-unit or building washer/dryer, so this was our solution. It hooks up to the bathroom or kitchen sink, has wheels so it's easy to roll away into the closet, and has saved us many a trip to the laundromat. Washes a surprisingly large load. Totally worth every $$."
"Do yourself a huge favor and don't get a baby bath tub. Go for a bath sponge or pad: they take up far less space, work in the sink or the tub, and when your little one starts refusing to lie down to take a bath, they can sit on the pad instead of the slippery hard tub."